Watch the Smithsonian’s Age of Humans Symposium

Held at the National Museum of Natural History, this event features speeches and panelists discussing a new age: the Anthropocene

Humans have been transforming the planet through agriculture, urbanization, transportation and fossil fuel use, and the rapid changes to Earth’s climate and environments have many scientists arguing that we have entered a new geologic age dubbed the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans. Recognizing the impacts of humanity means we can alter our behaviors and find solutions to create a more resilient and sustainable society.

This one-day symposium, held on October 9 and sponsored by the Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia, brought together leaders in the fields of climate, health, economics and security to discuss the problems and to offer possible solutions. Speakers include:

  • Admiral Thad Allen, former 23rd Commandant of the USCG and coordinator of the federal response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
  • James J. Hack, director of the National Center for Computational Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Rachel Kyte, group vice president and special envoy for climate change at the World Bank
  • George Luber, epidemiologist and associate director for climate change at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A summation of the day’s discussion was be provided by Thomas L. Friedman, award-winning author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times.

Download a schedule of the day's events here. Below are the videos from the event, broken out by theme, and the full video is embedded at the top of the page.

Do you have a question or comment about the symposium? Email the Consortia!

Opening Remarks

Navigating in a Virtual World (Part I)

Navigating in a Virtual World (Part II)

Fit for Purpose: The Global Economy We Need to Live Well in the Anthropocene

Solving Climate Change in 20 Minutes: A Guided Simulation

The Health Consequence of a Changing Climate, Part I

The Health Consequence of a Changing Climate, Part II

Confronting the Increased Complexity in the Interface of the Natural and Built Environment from Katrina to Space Weather

What Mother Nature Teaches About American Foreign and Domestic Policy

Closing Remarks

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